After weeks of trade discussions, the Suns decided the one player they could not do without was Amare Stoudemire.
It is a gamble. The All-Star can opt out of the final year of his contract, which is worth $17.7 million, and the Suns will have nothing but a little extra money to spend to show for it.
Still, general manager Steve Kerr said he considered standing pat at yesterday's NBA trade deadline was the best option for a Suns team that has a three-game lead on a Western Conference playoff spot with 27 games remaining.
"I've maintained that unless there was something out there that improved our team and put us in a lot better position moving forward, then we weren't going to do anything. And that was the case," Kerr said. " . . . Multiple teams called us. We called a couple of teams just to inquire about certain things. In the end, nothing really struck our fancy."
Cleveland was the team most often linked to the Suns, with J.J. Hickson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas mentioned as trading chips, but Kerr said any trade with the Cavaliers "never really rang a bell with us, frankly."
He added: "It had to be better. It had to be a spinoff. There had to be something else. That had a lot of different offshoots to it that were tricky, and it just didn't happen."
Stoudemire, in his seventh season, is averaging 21.4 points and 8.7 rebounds a game while playing for about $16.4 million. He has until June 30 to decide if he will opt out.
Miami and Philadelphia also were mentioned as possible trading partners, but it became clear that any deal involving the Suns and the Heat would have had to include a third team. Stoudemire makes an offseason home in Florida.
Bulls' Thomas to Bobcats
The Charlotte Bobcats addressed coach Larry Brown's biggest concern, acquiring power forward Tyrus Thomas from the Chicago Bulls just before the trade deadline. Charlotte sent a protected future first-round pick to Chicago, along with the expiring contracts of guards Flip Murray and Acie Law.
The 6-10 Thomas is averaging 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds and making $4.7 million in the final year of his contract. He'll be a restricted free agent this summer.
It was a day of two trades for four expiring contracts for the Bulls, who are expected to be $18 million to $20 million under the salary cap and poised to be a major player in free agency this summer. Chicago also acquired forwards Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander from Milwaukee for guard John Salmons.
Jazz trades Brewer to Grizzlies
The Utah Jazz traded shooting guard Ronnie Brewer to the Memphis Grizzlies for a future first-round draft pick. The trade should open some room in a position at which the Jazz is well-stocked and reduce the club's luxury-tax burden. Brewer, the Jazz's first-round pick in the 2006 draft, has started every game this season, averaging 9.5 points.Nuggets snap Cavs' win streakCarmelo Anthony scored 40 points, including the winning basket, as visiting Denver overcame LeBron James' triple-double and ended the Cleveland Cavaliers' winning streak at 13 games with a 118-116 overtime victory. James had his triple-double by the end of regulation, finishing with 43 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists, but Anthony matched him shot for shot, hitting the winner on a deep jumper over an outstretched James with 1.9 seconds left. Denver's Kenyon Martin had 18 points and 17 rebounds. - AP